Mar 25

JumpSquares – Launching SSH in Chrome

JumpSquares is a FANTASTIC tool and I have written about it before.

JumpSquares is a bookmarking tool where you create bookmarks or “squares” which support configuring a “jump” to different connections such as RDP, SSH, VNC, etc. I use it to keep track of my home lab, setting up the JumpSquares for my RDP, SSH, and HTTP/S links to the different components in the lab.


One issue is the launching of SSH sessions from a hyperlink. Works in FireFox, does not work in Chrome. Chrome is my browser of choice (It does work great in FireFox using the FireSSH plugin).

There is already a simple solution which includes a javascript file and a couple of registry keys to get RDP/VNC to launch from a hyperlink. The instructions for running VNC and RDP from a hyperlink can be found here. I took this (most of the work was done for me) and modified it a bit to allow SSH sessions to be launched from a ssh:// hyperlink as well.
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Mar 24

Access vCenter Service Health in vSphere 6

This posts walks through adding permissions to allow a vSphere Administrator to access the System Configuration UI to view Service Health. This will also allow a vSphere Administrator to Restart, Stop, Start, and configure services. Service Health is now only available in the Web Client, vCenter Service Health can no longer be viewed in the vSphere Client.

For more information check the vSphere 6.0 Documentation – Monitoring the Health of Services and Nodes.

In the vSphere 5.x an administrator could quickly view the status of vCenter Services from the vCenter Service Health tab. In vSphere 6 the vCenter Service Health has moved to the System Configuration UI (at least when using the VCSA, I am assuming this is also the case for vCenter Windows deployments).
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Mar 24

Nested vSphere 6 VSAN Lab

Here is a quick walk through on creating a Nested vSphere 6 VSAN Lab. The lab requires three nested ESXi 6.0 hosts each configured with three hard disks and a vCenter Server 6.0 (Windows or VCSA). This post covers creating the nested ESXi hosts and configuring a VSAN cluster.


I built out the lab manually but the AutoLab Kit includes all the shell VMs you need to build out a nested VSAN lab on vSphere 5.5 (6 support will likely be coming soon). If you don’t have a home lab but still want to get some lab time working with VMware VSAN check out the VMware Hands-on Lab HOL-SDC-1408 – What’s New with Virtual SAN 6.

This nested VSAN lab was created on a single socket 4 core ESXi 6.0 host with 32 GB of memory. The nested lab environment has 26 GB of memory allocated ( 6 GB x 3 for the ESXi hosts and 8 GB for the VCSA) but only consumes approximately 9 GB of memory (TPS is enabled).

Now on to setting up a nested VSAN lab…
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Mar 23

Home Lab Rebuild – Synology and vSphere 6

Last week I ordered a Synology DS1815+ for the home lab. All the pieces arrived this past Friday. A good bit of my weekend was spent rebuilding the home lab to include the new Synology and vSphere 6.


My lab has been running for a couple of years and I have tested a bunch of parts and pieces of different technologies – VMware Horizon, Citrix XenDesktop, etc. Last week I had upgraded my VCSA to vSphere 6 and had originally planned to just upgrade my hosts and drive on, instead I decided to do a complete rebuild.
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Mar 18

280 Character Daily Journal

Some time ago I use to keep a somewhat daily journal. I used old school composition notebooks for this. I have a stack of them full of notes and scribbles. Was more a form of therapy than wanting to actually keep a record. Nothing organized, just periodic ramblings, some work stuff, etc. For some reason I stopped, not sure why.

I was searching around for an online private journal and ran across 280daily. For the past month I have been jotting down a daily note. The notes are accessible from anywhere, private, searchable, and limited to 280 characters a day. Notes are also exportable, to PDF, to CSV, and even to a printed book (for a cost).

280daily sends you a daily email (if you want) to remind you when it is time to make an entry.

Neat little free service. 280daily is worth a check if you are looking for a quick easy way to keep a simple journal.

Mar 08

View PowerCLI – Adjust Spares for Peak and Off Peak

One nice feature of Citrix XenDesktop is the ability to adjust the number of powered on desktops for Peak and Off Peak hours. This allows you to configure a different number of available powered on desktops based on time of day and day of week. This feature is sadly missing from VMware Horizon View. There is, however, a way to accomplish the same functionality using View PowerCLI.

For example, on a Connection Server, you can run the following View PowerCLI cmdlet Update-AutomaticLinkedClonePool to set the number of spares to 10 for the linked clone desktop pool “Desktop Pool”.

Update-AutomaticLinkedClonePool -Pool_id “Desktop Pool” -HeadroomCount 10

This will set the Number of spare (powered on) machines for the Desktop Pool to 10 and power on machines to meet this number up to the configured Max number of machines. So if there are 20 desktops in the pool and two people are logged in 10 additional desktops will be powered on and ready to accept connections. If another user consumes a desktop from the pool another desktop will power on to maintain the 10 spare powered on machines up until the Max number of machines is reached.

Run the command again with and specify the HeadroomCount to be 5. As long as the Remote Machine Power Policy for the pool is set to Power off then any spares over the HeadroomCount number will power down.

Update-AutomaticLinkedClonePool -Pool_id “Desktop Pool” -HeadroomCount 5

There are reasons why it is a nice to be able to increase or decrease the number spares in a pool, for example:

  • Just prior to start of a shift to help improve user experience.
  • To decrease the number of spares on a locally accessed pools on the evening or weekend and increase the number of spares available in pools used for remote access.
  • Decrease spares in pools not used during a specific period of time to allow resources to be used for other pools.

Using View PowerCLI and the Windows Task Scheduler you can automate adjusting the spares up or down on a schedule.
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Mar 05

vCoffee Links #13 – Lots of good vStuff!!!

Weather has been crappy and work has been busy. I am so ready for spring. Hope everyone has been staying warm and safe. You would think I would have more time to blog, but… busy, busy, busy (which is a good thing).

There is no kill switch on AWESOME! Truth :)

Top vBlog 2015 Voting is well under way. Be sure to stop by and vote for your favorite virtualization blogs and podcasts. Hopefully you will be kind enough to add to your ballot. I would appreciate it for sure. Hoping to break the top 100 this year but there are a lot of great blogs on there. Will be happy with just a vote or two. is looking for sponsors to help offset the cost of hosting and such. Currently averages about 220 visitors a day during the week and around 100 per day on the weekends. These visitors come from all over the world (but mostly the US). If you are interested click any of the advertise here links at the top of all posts or go right here for more details.

Anyway on to the links…

vCoffee Links is a regular feature on vCoffee Links features news and links of interest from the past week or so. If you have something interesting to add please submit it in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @herseyc.
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Mar 02

2015 Top vBlog Voting Happening Now

Voting for the 2015 Top vBlogs over at has opened. All blogs listed on the vLaunchpad are included on the ballot.

Click Here to Submit Your Votes!

In 2014 was voted #125 for it’s first year on the list. Hoping to break the Top 100 this year.

If you enjoy or have found some of the post from the last year useful consider stopping by and voting for this blog. While you are voting consider casting a vote for a couple of these other great blogs which I enjoy and you should check:

Voting is easy and only takes a few minutes. The voting is open through mid-March. Go cast your votes now.

Big shout out to @ericsiebert for taking the time to put this together.

Feb 17

The Chromebook Experiment

A few weeks ago I picked up a Toshiba Chromebook. Not really sure why, was kind of a impulse buy I guess. I decided to put it to use. The Chromebook I picked up is the Toshiba CB35-B3340 13.3-Inch Chromebook 2 (Full-HD Screen) which is configured with 4 GB of Memory and a 16 GB SSD. The Chromebook also has a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, a HDMI port, a microphone/headphone jack, and a SD Card slot. I paid just under $300 for it after redeeming a couple BestBuy Reward Certificates.

As an experiment I decided to leave my laptop at home for VMWare PEX and only carry the Chromebook. I was surprised as I was able to do just about everything I needed to do. If I couldn’t do on the Chromebook I could either do it in the chrooted Linux environment (Crouton) or through RDP or VMWare View or Citrix Receiver to my home desktop/lab.

Now I use it all the time now, especially for basic things like email, social media (Twitter and Facebbok), and writing blog post (this post was written on it). Very quick to start-up and easy to use just about anywhere.
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Feb 12

PEX Session Notes: SRM & Business Continuity Overview

Another really informative VMware PEX 2015 Session covering SRM 5.8 and the soon to be released SRM 6. Also some what’s new with vCloud Air DR, VMware Data Protection (VDP), and vSphere Replication.

If you have not heard there is no longer two editions of VDP. Basically now VDP Advanced (VDPA) becomes VDP. All of the features of VDPA will be available for no extra licensing cost.

The notes are as I took them in the session.

STO4295 – SRM & Business Continuity Overview
Mauricio Barra – VMware
Pooja Virkud – VMware

Types of Disasters:
– Power Outage
– Human Error
– Hardware Failures
– Natural Disaster

Have a valid plan of action!
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